There’s a tonne of reasons why we reach for the biscuit packet at work without thinking – a chance to have a natter with your coworkers, an excuse for a break from a boring task, stress-eating, birthdays, leftovers from conferences, the list goes on.

We all know that chances are it’s not going to be hugely nutritious, and will probably only end up leaving us feeling sluggish and tired (far from productive).

In fact, Kallø found recently that all those extra calories add up to a whopping amount every year. 100,000 extra calories per year for the average woman, to be specific. Don’t worry – we also choked on our hobnob at our desks when we found out.

But quitting snacking altogether is a painful prospect, and maintaining your energy levels and metabolism through regular nutritious sources is a great alternative.

1. Lunchbox

You’re probably as sick as us of reading by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail all over #fitspo instagrams. But it’s true. Swap shop bought sandwiches for home packed meals and you’ll save money and calories (those meal deals get us every time).

Plus it will give you an excuse to make an essential investment in a cute lunchbox.

2. Go Wholemeal

One really easy way is to swap your white carbs (white pasta, rice, bread) for wholemeals. These will keep you fuller for longer, plus they contain more vitamins, minerals and less preservatives than white alternatives.

3. Swap your Friday Tipple

Wine is totally a snack.

And don’t even pretend you’re gonna order a diet coke come the Friday pub trip. Try switching wine for wine spritzers. This is a super simple and effective way to increase the volume of fluid intake, feel more full and quench thirst. This will also stop you drinking more wine over the course of the night, whilst increasing water intake too, allowing you to reduce the caloric intake and your hangover simultaneously. Winning.

4. Stay hydrated

Keep water (hello, cute new water bottle), tea, no-added-sugar squash, and coffee in close reach.

Don’t underestimate tea as an effective cravings-calmer. Unsweetened herbal tea can completely kill a desire for desserts, with an array of options that can satisfy specific taste cravings, such as cinnamon tea, lavender honey tea, salted-caramel green tea (yes, it exists), ginger tea, and more.

Holding a cup of tea can also distract your hands and be comforting and soothing when you’re itching for a fix.

5. Eat on Time, and Eat Real Meals

Grazing on iceberg lettuce all day is not going to help you say no when Gary comes round with some birthday donuts at 3pm. First and foremost, mindless snacking at work can’t stop without real, whole, satisfying meals eaten on time. If you regularly skip breakfast or lunch, then of course you’re going to be ravenously raiding the biscuit jar on a daily basis.

And if you’re always hungry throughout the day, you may want to rethink what your meal comprises….

6. Be macro-wise

Incorporating healthy, filling proteins and veggies into your midday meal may have you craving fewer snacks when you get back to your desk after lunch. Carb-based meals are more likely to leave you sluggish, so make sure you pair something with protein with something with fiber at every meal, which will also help you control the amount of insulin your body produces.

7. Smart swaps

Try some of these ideas for snack swaps:

  • Fruit  – provides a balanced amount of healthy carbs and fiber
  • Carrot sticks and hummus
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Rice cakes
  • Nuts – provide fiber, healthy fats and a decent amount of protein.
  • Cereal bars – Swap your cereal bars for homemade protein bars. This is better value and saves searching for bars that are, all too often, high in sugars. They’re rich in the minerals magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
  • Greek yoghurt and blueberries
  • Porridge
  • Roasted chickpeas – they pack fiber and potassium and are easy to make at home. You can add whatever spices you like, such as cinnamon, cumin, or cayenne pepper.
  • Unsalted popcorn
  • Low-sodium beef jerky
  • Unsweetened dried fruit – dried fruit is high in fiber and nutrient dense. Plus, dried fruit is a great source of energy when you need a little pick-me-up at work because they contain little to no fat while also containing a significant amount of calories. Try dried mango, dried apple, dried pear, or for a special treat, dried bananas covered in dark chocolate.
  • Protein shakes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Green smoothies

8. Get moving

If you’re setting your alarm an hour early for a pre-work circuit bootcamp, you are far less likely to “undo” all that progress later by reaching for the cakes at work. Join a gym through GymPass today and start making easy lifestyle changes for the better!